I don't know what it is about fennel that makes it using it in my weekday menu feel a little daunting. It's unique anise flavor seems to call for a special dish, but I found, like most things, that I was over thinking it. I realized this after attending a party where the host served it raw, cut into thin, crescent moon slices, and served with just some good olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. In Italy, it is commonly eaten raw after meals as a digestive, as a matter of course. Now that the evenings have cooled considerably but the days still feel like they're hanging on to the last washes of summer sunshine, I want something that is still crisp and cool, yet warming and earthy like these early root vegetables are.
Here's a great article on how to use fennel, both raw and cooked, with a few recipes attached. I also like idea of pairing it with beets and carrots, as this recipe does. The local carrots right now are so crisp and sweet, and I love the interplay of flavors that the beets and fennel lend to it. For purists, I also found a recipe for raw beet salad from Mark Bittman, which seems almost too easy. I also like some of the suggestions in the comments section, which suggest additions like raw carrots, jicama, fresh ginger, and even a South Indian riff that uses stir fried mustard seeds, curry leaves, and shredded coconut.
Looking for other recipes using your all those vegetables in your Box? Here's a few I found, some of which could also serve as warm ups to your Thanksgiving meal:
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Green Circle Organics specializes in local and organic produce, dairy and minimally processed, locally produced foods. Since 2003, we've been operating out of the historic Lancaster Central Market, providing a channel for farm fresh, organic and specialty foods to reach city dwellers and visitors. Check here for recipe ideas using the seasonal produce and other goods we sell at our market stand and for our Produce Box home delivery service.